"Through the power of Christ, we are learning to live in simplicity, thankfulness, contentment and
generosity in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana."


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

DoD casualty report for July 24 - July 31

Riverside National Cemetery - California
The Department of Defense announced this week the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

They died July 27, in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their vehicle with an improvised explosive device and small arms fire. They were assigned to the 10th Transportation Battalion, 7th Sustainment Brigade, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, VA.

Killed were: +Sgt. Eric T. Lawson, 30, of Stockbridge, GA, and +Spc. Caryn E. Nouv, 29, of Newport News, VA.

The Department of Defense announced this week the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

+Sgt. Stephen M. New, 29, of Bartlett, TN, died July 28, in Bagram, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his unit was attacked by small arms fire in the Sarobi District of Kabul Province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Jackson, MS.

The Department of Defense announced this week the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

+Spc. Nicholas B. Burley, 22, of Red Bluff, CA, died July 30, in Pul-E-Alam, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with indirect fire. He was assigned to the 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, GA.

Wednesday in Stevensville

Wednesday morning study group
Betty Lowell speaks about the Senior Center's award
 Gail Fisher receives Co-Humanitarian of the Year Award
Belinda and Gail enjoy the gathering
The Wednesday morning study group and the WIC program made for a lively morning at the Stevensville UMC! 
Belinda Alkula, Carol Goff, Jeanne Clarke, and Helen Lowery were also on hand this morning, preparing the August edition of the Glad Tider for mailing.  Thanks to these  folk for taking the time to tackle this task for the church.
This evening, community members gathered in Lange Park on Main Street for an awards ceremony.  Gail Fisher was honored as the co-humanitarian of the year, congratulations, Gail!

School of Congregational Development

Following up on the exciting presentations by Reggie McNeal at Annual Conference in June, the School of Congregational Development presents a great learning opportunity for us to attend.
This year’s focus on "Encountering God at the Edge" reflects both our growing edges of ministry and our challenging U.S. mission environment. Being in the West will enable participants to encounter "out-on-the-edge" Christians sharing a life-transforming relationship with Christ in inspiring ways that embody the reign of God here on earth.
The session will be streamed live from Denver to satellite locations around the Western Jurisdiction. Click here to read more about it!

Church Revolution from the Edge
August 17th, 9am - 4pm

First UMC - Missoula
300 East Main Street

To register, visit: www.scd.gntv.info

Living the United Methodist Way

A Rule of Life
"A rule of life is a pattern of spiritual disciplines
that provides structure and direction for growth
in holiness…. It fosters gifts of the Spirit in
personal life and human community, helping to
form us into the persons God intends us to be."
Marjorie Thompson, Soul Feast
… There is only one condition previously required of those who desire admission into these societies: "a desire to flee from the wrath to come, and to be saved from their sins." But wherever this is really fixed in the soul it will be shown by its fruits. It is therefore expected of all who continue therein that they should continue to evidence their desire of salvation,...

The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church—2012,
¶104.2 (p.76)

Read more about living the United Methodist way at this link.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lectionary Reading for August 4th

Hosea 11:1-11. God speaks of God's tender affection for Israel like a father teaching an infant child to walk, and so how hard it is to see Israel continually rejecting God's ways. God will not again destroy Ephraim after the coming exile, but intends to return them to their homes someday.

Psalm 107:1-9, 43 (UMH 830).
A psalm of thanksgiving that ends almost as a wisdom psalm — "Consider the steadfast love of the Lord."

Colossians 3:1-11 (the sermon will come from this text).
Live the fullness of what happened in your baptism, Paul commends. Strip off the old self and its practices, be clothed with the new. Let Christ, and no other practices or distinctions, be all in all!

Luke 12:13-21.
Jesus uses an inquirer's request to arbitrate an inheritance dispute to warn against all forms of greed — all desires to obtain more that what one already has — and tells the story of a successful grain farmer as an example.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Praises abound

 Concerns from this morning's worship included:
+Joshua is facing kidney failure and needs a miracle.
+Lynn F. is having coughing problems.
+Those fighting the region's wildfires.
+The Wright family is facing two recent deaths in the family.
 +Those dealing with cancer include Susan, Boyd and Karen.

Joys from this morning's worship included:
+The Fisher's son & daughter-in-law are visiting from Australia.
+Joan & Will are visiting from Lake Placid, Florida.
+Sharon W. is celebrating her 70th birthday this week.
+Mitch and family are back from the Scout Jamboree.
+Annabel celebrates her first birthday this week and is visiting with mom, Vicky.  Annabel is the great-granddaughter of Betty Lowell.
+Carol is back from southern California and reports being a new grandmother.
+Judy's dad finished his cancer treatments.
+Sharon is back from Washington.  Grant's funeral service will be August 24th.
+Meagan is visiting grandparents Kathy & Roy.
+Charlene S. is celebrating a belated 90th birthday with family this week.

+Thanks to everyone who pitched in a provided refreshments during our fellowship time.

Mitch and  Rollie were our acolytes this morning and did a great job. Mitch did double-duty as the media operator.

Let us pray

Join us this morning for worship as we consider the words of the Lord's Prayer.

"No business, therefore, of any kind, no conversation, need hinder one that is strong in faith, from rejoicing evermore, praying without ceasing, and in everything giving thanks.  Follow after this and you will surely attain it."

-the Rev. John Wesley

Saturday, July 27, 2013

NEW Socks Collection -- Outreach Project!

Our church's United Methodist Women (UMW) unit is collecting NEW socks for the upcoming conference-wide "Mission u" outreach project, August 8-10 in Boulder.  Belinda Alkula will be taking the donations with her when she departs on Thursday, August 8th.

In advance, the UMW thanks church members for their generous contributions, which will warm the "souls" of folks they will never meet, but who will be most appreciative of other people's care and concern for them.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

DoD Casualty Report for July 18 - 25

Houston National Cemetery - Houston, Texas
The Department of Defense announced this week the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. 
Spc. Anthony R. Maddox, 22, of Port Arthur, Texas, died July 22, in Landstuhl, Germany, of a non-combat related incident that occurred in Andar, Afghanistan.  The incident is under investigation. 

He was assigned to the 10th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Prayer Shawl Ministry

[this message was received from Carole Koval regarding the prayer shawl ministry at SUMC]
"Our first prayer shawl was given to Mary C. in 2006 when she was in the Seattle hospital and almost died several times.  Pastor Nancy had approached UMW when I was president back then to ask us to start this ministry.  I have kept a list since then, of every one we gave out: Who, when and why.  I need to let Pastor Charles know that I do keep this inventory so in case one is given out sometime when I'm not there I can be advised.  This inventory is only kept so we do not duplicate.  I don't keep a count of our supply.
We have now given out 144 counting the one for Karen M. which I will pick up from the office this week and deliver to her on the weekend after she accepts company. 
Who makes them?  I am only aware of these ladies contributing:  Fran Jackson, Sharon Wheeler, Judy Inslee, Gail Moshier, Julie Ludington.  I know others have done so but sometimes they just arrive and I do not know who made them."
Carole Koval

A lively day at SUMC

Ben Longbottom keeps the church looking sharp!
Scones made for the Wednesday morning study group
Wednesdays are full of energy at Stevi UMC and what a wonderful thing it is to hear the sound of life in the church building during the week!

This morning the WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) staff was hard at work, providing resources for the most vulnerable of Valley residents.  It is such fun to hear the laughter of children in the church!!!

At the same time as the WIC program was underway there was a study group meeting in the fellowship hall.  Seven were on hand this morning to share insights from the Wired Word materials.  Belinda surprised everyone with fresh-from-the-oven scones, a tasty supplement to the Bread of Life!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
July 28, 2013

HOSEA 1:2-10.  Does God really want Hosea to marry a prostitute? But that isn’t the real story of this passage. The essence of this prophetic act lies in the meaning of the names Hosea gave to the children born of his marriage to this profligate wife. Their names symbolized Israel’s degraded moral
status and conveyed the message of judgment Hosea had received from God. The names restore the moral credibility of the prophet and proclaim God’s will that the people of God live faithfully in all respects.

PSALM 85. With this beautiful lament the psalmist pleads for God’s mercy and justice. In curious juxtaposition to the foregoing prophecy, it presents a very hopeful attitude. It voices sincere humility and asks for salvation on the basis of God’s past beneficence.

COLOSSIANS 2:6-15, (16-19). The Scottish scholar, William Barclay, called this one of the most difficult passages that Paul ever wrote. Many metaphors and images are stacked one upon the other in these two paragraphs written primarily for Gentiles. Yet the message can be summed up in one sentence: Christians grounded in their faith in Jesus Christ have been forgiven all their sins through his death and resurrection. Thus all are freed from all demands of the Jewish ritual laws and any other forms of worship or discipleship.

LUKE 11:1-13 (the sermon will come from this text).  Most of us feel rather inferior about how we pray; and so did Jesus’ disciples. Their time with Jesus, however, had shown them how much prayer meant to him and how effortless it was for him to pray. They wanted to learn from him. Would that it was so for all of us!
The brief homily that follows what we call “The Lord’s Prayer” explains the willingness of God to match our requests with a grace and kindness beyond all  measure. God’s answer may not be exactly what we ask for or expect. It is far more important that God’s will be the determining factor in our
prayers, our lives, for us and for all the world.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Apple Dumpling Gang rides again!

The apple dumpling gang met up in the high school cafeteria's kitchen to take part in the tradition of making apple dumplings for sale the Creamery Days Picnic.

There was a lot of energy and the teamwork and fellowship was wonderful to see.  The finished product was well-worth the effort!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Wonderful worship today!

Early morning light in the sanctuary

Before the service
Prelude music
UMW choir

What a joy it was to be among the faithful at Stevi UMC this morning!  The energy was bursting with excitement from the very first member of the UMW choir arriving for practice to the last person departing after the fellowship time.

We were blessed with two special music offerings this morning.  During the prelude, a violin duet shared two beautiful selections.

The UMW choir, under the direction of Clay Freeman and accompanied by Hazel Smith, shared a medley of gospel hymns: Nobody Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus; Heaven Came Down; Glory Filled My Soul; and Softly & Tenderly.

In the choir were: Belinda Alkula, Lorraine Broadhurst, Carol Goffe, Carol Cragg, Amy Ferrell, Judy Frazier, Trudy Freeman, Kathy Haarman, Sonia Henry, Claire Kelly, Carole Koval, Mary Nelson, Olivia Sperry, and Carol Varien.

Joys from this morning's worship:
+John Fisher was introduced as the new Lay Leader for the Stevi UMC.
+Middle school camp starts today at the Flathead Lake UM Camp. +There are a lot of family and friends visiting this time of year.       +The joy of witnessing new marriages beginning.
+The Ad Council approved the printing of replacement praise (music) books for use in the pews.
+The Choral Festival that concluded last night in Missoula was a real treat! 
+Lynn F. reports coming through his surgery just fine. 
+Those who have enjoyed vacations and those about to take one.
+Norma & Charles P. are celebrating their 59th anniversary this week.
+Hard working volunteers who tore down an old shed for a SUMC member.
+Successful completion of the Missoula Marathon by a relative.

Concerns from this morning's worship:
+The 127th Security Forces Squadron (Air National Guard) is being deployed to Afghanistan soon. 
+During the service, a prayer shawl was passed around for Karen N. who is in California for treatments.  She is having surgery on Tuesday.
+The family of Grant W. 
+Liz A. who is facing cancer treatment. 
+Sandra is having surgery this week. 
+Tom B. (former SUMC member) is having health concerns in Oregon.
+Belinda Alkula's uncle, Bob Barlow, passed away in the hospital near London, UK, on Friday.

Serving today were:
Greeters: Ed Sperry & Claire Kelly
Liturgist: Ben Longbottem
Hospitality: Sue Pearson& Judy Fraser
Accompanist: Hazel Smith.

Up and at 'em, Church!  Come join us at 10:15 for worship and fellowship!!  Today's worship service includes a special musical offering from the UMW choir.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Missing servicemen identified

Arlington National Cemetery
The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced July 18  that the remains of a serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and have been returned to his family for burial with full military honors. 
Army Sgt. Bernard J. Fisher of Wilkes Barre, PA., was buried July 16, in Arlington National Cemetery.  In January 1951, Fisher and elements of Company L, 3rd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment (IR), 24th Infantry Division (ID), were deployed northeast of Seoul, South Korea, where they were attacked by enemy forces. During the 19th IR attempt to delay the enemy forces from advancing, Fisher and his unit moved towards a more defensible position, when the unit suffered heavy losses.  It was during this attack, that Fisher was reported missing. 

In July 1951, the U.S. Army Graves Registration recovered the remains of four men north of Shaha-dong, near Seoul, South Korea.  The remains were buried in the United Nation Cemetery at Tanggok, South Korea, and were disinterred and transferred to the U.S. Army’s Central Identification Unit in Kokura, Japan for laboratory analysis.

During the analysis the remains of three men could not be positively identified. In March 1955, a military review board declared the remains of the fourth to be unidentifiable.  The unidentified remains were transferred to Hawaii, where they were interred as “unknown” at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as the “Punchbowl.”   

In 2012, U.S. officials reevaluated Fisher’s records and determined that with advances in technology, the unknown remains could likely be identified.  Following the reevaluation, the decision was made to exhume the remains for scientific analysis identification. 

In the identification of the remains, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, such as dental comparison and chest radiograph – which matched Fisher’s records.

Using modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously turned over by North Korean officials.  Today, more than 7,900 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.
The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced July 18 that the remains of a serviceman, missing from the Vietnam War, have been identified and have been returned to his family for burial with full military honors. 

Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Michael B. Judd of Cleveland, Ohio was buried on July 15, in Arlington National Cemetery.  On June 30, 1967, Judd was aboard a CH-46A Sea Knight helicopter that was attempting to insert a U.S. Marine Corps reconnaissance team into hostile territory in Thua Thien-Hue Province, Vietnam.  As the helicopter approached the landing zone, it was struck by enemy fire from the surrounding tree line, causing the aircraft to catch fire.  The aircraft crashed landed.  Although most of the reconnaissance team to survived, Judd and four other crew members of the team, died in the crash.

In 1993, joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) teams investigated the case in Thua Thien-Hue Province.  The team interviewed local villagers who claimed to have discovered an aircraft crash site in the nearby forest while searching for firewood in 1991.  The team surveyed the location finding aircraft wreckage that could not be associated with a CH-46A.

During the 1990s, joint U.S./ S.R.V. teams continued to investigated the loss in Thua Thien-Hue Province.  In 1999, the team interviewed the same local villagers who provide relevant case information and the joint team surveyed the crash site again, this time uncovering aircraft wreckage consistent with a U.S. military helicopter.

In 2012, joint U.S./ S.R.V. recovery teams began excavating the crash site and recovered human remains and aircraft wreckage from the CH-46A helicopter that Judd was aboard. 

Scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) used forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, including dental comparisons in the identification of Judd's remains. 

DoD Casualty Report for July 11 -18

Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery - Rittman, Ohio
The Department of Defense announced this week the death of two servicemen who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
+Lance Cpl. Benjamin W. Tuttle, 19, of Gentry, Arkansas, died July 14 at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center following a medical evacuation from the aircraft carrier the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) during a scheduled port visit in the 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility.  This incident is under investigation.  He was assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323, Marine Aircraft Group 11, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California.

+Staff Sgt. Sonny C. Zimmerman, 25, of Waynesfield, Ohio, died July 16, in Mushaka, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his vehicle was attacked by a rocket propelled grenade.  He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Wonderful day at Stevi UMC

Bible study at Doris Taylor's Home
Great turn-out for this morning's study
George Cunningham is a faithful servant!
 UMW choir practice
Today was a wonderful day in the life of the Stevi UMC!  It began with a terrific turn-out for the weekly Bible study being held in the home of Doris Taylor.  Fourteen men and women were on hand to review the Lectionary readings for this coming Sunday.  We enjoyed being fed by the Word of God and also by the wonderful rhubarb coffee cake provided by Barb.

While the Bible study attracted some, others were working at the church.  Carol G. was putting the finishing touches on the bulletin, and George Cunnigham was hard at work tending to the church yard.

This afternoon, fourteen members of the UMW met with Hazel Smith (on piano) and Clay Freeman (directing) to prepare for the musical offering to be shared on Sunday morning.  It was so nice to be able to come together like this, making music for the glory of God!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tonight's Ad Council Meeting

Stevi UMC is in good hands, if tonight's Ad Council meeting is any indication!  Tonight's agenda included diverse topics such as sealing the parking lot, printing of new praise hymn books, the Mission 2 Military, prayer shawls, and much more!  Look for more information in the upcoming Glad Tider.

Attending tonight's meeting: joey diers, Molly Hacket, Carole Koval, Ben Longbottem, Mary & Bryan Lonski, Julie Ludington, Don Nelson, Bonita Ziegler, and Pastor Charles.

Pastor's Cross Collection

Pastor Charles has put up his cross collection at the church for all to enjoy. 

Passing of Grant Wheeler

The following was received this morning Sharon Brown-Wheeler's daughter, Debby:
This is Debby, Sharon's daughter.  just a note to let everyone know that Grant just passed.
Mom is leaving for Seattle at 7 am 7/18.  I know she is very upset that she was not able to be there to hold him as he passed.
We all know that Grant is so happy where he is now.  Please keep mom and Grant in your prayers.  Also, Grants son, Ted, who is the best son a man could ask for, who took care of Grant when  mom was unable to, please say an extra prayer for him and his family.
Thank you in advance for your thoughts and prayers.
Debby Spencer

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Blessings on a Wednesday

Bruce is a colorful part of the Wednesday group
George tackles a task at the parsonage
The Wednesday study group, meeting this morning at Morning Star Coffee, was a lively gathering to be sure!  It is so much fun going through the materials from The Wired Word each week, join us next Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in the fellowship hall. 

In the afternoon, Ben Longbottem was on hand at the parsonage to install a new door in the rear of the garage. 

This evening, Pastor Charles and Belinda and Belinda attended the "After Hours" event sponsored by the Stevensville Main Street Association (the church is a member).  This month's gathering was held at the Guardian Healthcare Center and was a great way to get the community business leaders aware of the church's presence and interest in the wider-Stevi community.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

This week's Lectionary Readings

9th Sunday After Pentecost
July 21, 2013

AMOS 8:1-12:  In another vituperative outburst against social injustices of his time in the 8th century BC, Amos vividly describes the fate that is about to befall his people. In an amazing series of images beginning with a basket of over-ripe summer fruit and ending with a famine, he depicts God's
unrelenting judgment against the economic,  political and religious chicanery of the rich toward the poor.
PSALM 52: Again echoing the words of Amos, this psalm reiterates God's judgment for social injustice and false piety. The reference to Zion in verse 6 indicates that these charges may have been directed against the religious leaders.

COLOSSIANS 1:15-28 (this is the text for the sermon):  Modern versions of this passage divide it into three paragraphs. The first speaks of the pre-existent, human, crucified and resurrected Christ. The second speaks of the reconciliation God effected through Christ. The third presents the vision of what God is doing in creating this new humanity and the cosmic universe in which we live and serve as did Paul. Few statements of the whole gospel Paul proclaimed have the sweep of this one.

The most puzzling part of the passage is Paul's claim to be "completing what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church." Does he really mean that the suffering of Christ on the cross was lacking some way? More likely, the phrase emphasizes that the Passion of
Christ was the central focus of Paul's faith and the church's reason for being.

LUKE 10:38-42: The lovely story of Jesus visiting Mary and Martha never ceases to raise romantic views of their relationship now featured in a modern novel. Jesus felt welcome in their home in Bethany and made his headquarters there when in Jerusalem. It lay only a short two kilometres
east of the city on the Mount of Olives.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Today's Trustees meeting

The Trustees met tonight at the church and it was a productive, energetic gathering!  The Trustees are working on an ambitious list of projects in the church building and at the parsonage.

Present tonight were: Ben Longbottem, Carol Goffe, John Fisher, John Soper, Rod McIntyre, Dave McGarvey, and Pastor Charles.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

July 14th @ SUMC

George sets up for fellowship time
The "L" Quartet
Hazel and Clay make music plans
Fellowship time
What a delightful day at SUMC

Joys from this morning: +Gail Fisher was named the Stevi Co-humanitarian of the year. +Guests and familiar faces attending worship. +successful picnic at the Three Mile community event. +Mitch & Bob are traveling to the Scout Jamboree, Cammie will be traveling to join them this week. +Levi has a new job. +Collin is returning from fighting fires in Arizona. +Carter completed a 5k run yesterday.

Concerns and petitions: Those traveling this week (including Scouts and leaders going to Idaho and West Virginia). +Holly's mom is traveling back and forth from Arizona.  +Karen's dad passed away.  Health Concerns: Lois (lukemea), Mary L., Kim (cancer), Ann (getting a shot) and Lynn (shoulder surgery),

Thanks to everyone who helped to make the morning such a delight: Ed Sperry & Clair Kelly (greeters); Ben Longbottem (liturgist); George Cunningham, Hazel Smith & Kathy Haarman (hospitality); Julie Ludington, Paul Ludington, Emma Ludington & Ben Longbottem (music).

This week: Trustees, Monday @ 6pm
                   Wired Word at Morning Star @ 10am
                   Friday morning study at Doris Taylor's @ 10am